This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg in for Scott Simon. Congress wrapped up its summer session this week and members headed back to their home district. But with public approval ratings of Congress wallowing in the teens and constant headlines about gridlock, a lot of people might be wondering what exactly did the Congress accomplish anyway? For some answers about congressional actions and what is still unfinished, we are joined by NPR's David Welna. Hiya, David.
It was a controversial hearing to begin with. This morning, a House subcommittee was looking into a bill that would make English the official language of the United States and require that government functions like naturalization ceremonies be conducted in English.
Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan was not a fan, so he decided to deliver his opening statement in Spanish.
First he thanked the chairman, then he proceeded to assail the measure.
Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.
Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.
Meet The Candidates
In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.
It was just a year ago that the House rejected a deal with President Obama and threatened to allow the U.S. to default on debt obligations coming due. The Tea Party refusal to raise the debt ceiling led to a downgrade in U.S. credit and a selloff in the markets. NPR's David Welna reports on what's changed since then and what hasn't.